Gratitude: The Medicine for the Body, the Mind and the SOUL
As we quickly approach the holiday season, we are entering into a time of giving thanks.
Expressing gratitude can provide profound benefits to our lives. Being grateful can help shift our thought patterns to more positive ways of thinking. The brain is like a muscle; the areas that we work with are strengthened. When we practice positive thinking the synapses in the brain rewire to think positively more automatically. Because of our body-mind connection our thoughts have a strong influence on how our physical body feels. So as we create a mind that experiences more positivity, we intrinsically create more positive feelings in our body. Additionally our thoughts create our emotions, so as the brain patterns shift, the emotions that we experience will change as well. With a daily gratitude practice you can expect to experience more peace, joy and ease.
Being grateful is also a fundamental principle across various spiritual practices. In Yogic tradition Patanjali's Yoga Sutras discuss a principle of Santosa which is a practice of accepting the present, being content and grateful for all that there is as a path to enlightenment. In the energy healing practice, Reiki one of the 5 essential principles reads "Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings", this principle has been called the secret to happiness, as well as the spiritual medicine that heals all disease. Even Catholicism acknowledges that acceptance and gratitude invite more joy into our lives, as Mother Teresa said "The best way to show my gratitude to god is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy."
We have a sort of misconception that joy and contentment come when something else happens. I will be happy when I get that degree. I will be content when I find my life partner. I will be grateful when I get that job. When I buy that house. When I get that new car. When I have my children. When. When. When. But true joy, comes when we honor, love and accept the present moment for all that it is and let go of all the ways that we wish it was instead. True bliss is experienced when we are content and grateful in every moment. The beautiful side effect to gratitude is that the more grateful that we are the more present and grounded that we become. We begin experiencing every single beautiful moment that life has to offer without constantly chasing the things that we believe will make us feel whole, one day.
Energetically, being grateful creates so much abundance in our lives. Our entire world is made up of energy, including ourselves. Gratitude is a very high vibrational energy and like attracts like. So the more that we vibrate at a high frequency the more high vibrational energy we attract. This includes people, opportunities, experiences etc. The more grateful that we are, the more that we have to be grateful for.
If you need help cultivating a daily gratitude practice try keeping a journal near your bed where every morning and every night you can write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Join us in the month of November as we express gratitude with Planks for Thanks: Our Rome Rescue Mission Food Drive and Yoga for Gratitude the night before Thanksgiving.
Set the intention this holiday season, to inhale love and exhale gratitude. Allow yourself to be blissfully present in every moment and allow yourself to be unconditionally grateful in every moment.
In love, light and abundant gratitude,
The Full Lotus Yoga Team